Monday, September 4, 2017

Back to School and Reminiscing About Summer

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To be honest, I was somewhat dreading this summer. When my son is in school, it's easier for me to take care of myself and to be productivemake appointments, get some of my freelance medical writing and editing work done, and maybe even do some personal writing. When he's out of school, unless I can find a babysitter, I'm typically his full-time (morning to evening) caregiver. This can be pretty hands-on and exhausting considering that he's young (just turned 4) and has cerebral palsy. As of the week before summer break started, I wasn't yet sure I'd have child care.

Our summer turned out to be nice, though.

First of all, I did end up finding child care. It was somewhat sporadic, but I took what I could get and that certainly helped my sanity.

The week after school let out, I bought my son a 1-year pass to our local Monkey Town, which if you're not familiar, is an indoor playground. We spent many an afternoon running around together in Monkey Town, playing with colored balls, and going down slides. He even climbed up one, which I was super-impressed by. It was only about 4-5 feet long, but still.

We also went on many leisurely walksto a park near our house, for example, where we watched the ducks and played at a playground.

We had fun playing in the rain one day.

At home, we played with trains and read books.

And at the end of July, we flew to Munich, Germany. (As a side note, I recently wrote a post on tips for flying with your disabled child.) We spent a week there with my parents and brother, and had fun visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle...

being carried by Grandpa
...and the Deutsches Museum (of science and technology).

pushing a button to make the hot air balloon go up

building a track with Daddy
Other nice things about this summer:
  1. Our mornings were usually relaxed. There was no morning get-ready-for-school rush or travel back and forth to school.
  2. We had a 6-week break from all therapies: physical, occupational, and speech. While I appreciate the advice I get from my son's therapists on how to help him at home, it can sometimes feel overwhelming, so it was nice to have a break from that. I'm sure my son was also happy to have a break from therapy. It's hard work!
  3. No therapy over the summer meant fewer therapy bills to pay!
  4. This is the first summer where I've really gotten to just enjoy my son. He was born 12 weeks prematurely, and his first full summer I spent taking him to lots of doctor and therapy appointments and fiercely protecting him from respiratory illnesses (because with his prematurity came chronic lung disease, which put him at increased risk of respiratory infection and rehospitalization). His second full summer was right after we moved to the Netherlands, so we were busy settling in. His third full summer, we moved to a different house in our town. Finally, this summer I was able to focus more fully on Oliveron playing with him and helping him grow.
So, all in all, we had a nice summer. School started back up 2 weeks ago, and we're getting back into the groove.

riding the train home on his 1st day of school
I hope you had a lovely summer, too, and if you have kids, I wish them all the best in this new school year.

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